Gary Borders

Gary Borders has been an East Texas journalist and editor for more than 30 years. He is currently the editor and publisher of the Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune and also writes online each week at garyborders.com.

During his career Gary has taught journalism at Kilgore College and served as editor and publisher of newspapers in Longview, Lufkin, Nacogdoches and San Augustine. He began writing a column in 1982 and has written at least once weekly since without fail, though there are quite a few he would like to take back. The New York Times News Service distributed his column nationally from 1995 through 2009. His pieces have been published in the Detroit Free Press, Miami Herald, Austin American-Statesman, Palm Beach Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and — his personal favorite — the Maui News.

Borders has published two collections of columns, the “Loblolly Chronicles” in 2010 and “Behind and Beyond the Pine Curtain” in 2005. The University of Texas Press published “A Hanging in Nacogdoches” in 2006, his account of a brutal murder in 1902 in the state’s oldest town, and the trial that followed. He is currently researching another book, but is nowhere close to being finished.

Borders and his wife, Dr. Julie Teel-Borders, a professor at LeTourneau University, live in Longview with their daughter, Abbie, a freshman at Longview High School. He also has two grown daughters, about whom he has been writing columns since Ronald Reagan was president. They have long ceased to be embarrassed about it, though Abbie protests occasionally.

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NPR Story
8:41 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Gary Borders: In pursuit of turning down the volume on a fast moving world

I was filling my gas tank the other day, which considerably less painful than a few months ago. As long as a gallon of gasoline costs less than a tall latte at Starbucks, we probably don’t have much to complain about.

Somebody could have made a fistful of money wagering that gas would be considerably south of two bucks a gallon in 2015.

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Red River Radio
7:45 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Gary Borders: National WWII Museum in New Orleans keeps history alive

A gray-haired man stands inside the entrance to the U.S. Freedom Pavilion of the National World War II Museum, located on the corner of Magazine Street and Andrews Higgins Boulevard, in the Warehouse District of New Orleans.

The man at the museum is clearly a veteran, judging from the ballcap he wears identifying his military outfit. He is a volunteer here, and I thank him for his service, as I wait for my wife and daughter to join me.

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NPR Story
7:45 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Gary Borders: It's hard to act on possessions after a loved one dies

My mother would have turned 85 Monday. My dad would be 83 this summer. Both are gone now, dying three years apart in a nursing home I pass by several times a week. Unlike their siblings, they did not live independently into their 80s or 90s. It just wasn’t meant to be. Instead both declined over years until death became a blessing.

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NPR Story
7:45 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Gary Borders: Monday night music in exquisite New Orleans hotel is priceless

It is two days before New Year’s Eve, the weather in New Orleans finally cooling down to what passes for winter in the Big Easy, after a couple sultry days. We have taken a quick vacation here, thanks to a generous friend who loaned us her condo in the Warehouse District. On our last night before making the 400-mile trek back to East Texas, we settled down in chairs of a parlor in the historic The Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue in the upper Garden District. We await the arrival of two of the city’s best known Cajun musicians, who play for a modest crowd every Monday night.

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NPR Story
7:45 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Hen Subscription Contest boosted newspaper readership in Madisonville, Texas

Henry B. Fox, publisher of the Madisonville Meteor, used chickens to boost his subscriber base.

One of my main jobs as a publisher is to sell newspapers. That might appear blindingly obvious to most folks. But on many occasions throughout my four decades in this business, readers upset with a story will say, accusingly, “You’re just trying to sell newspapers.” That always struck me as akin to telling a car dealer, “You’re just trying to sell cars.” Well, duh.

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NPR Story
7:45 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Gary Borders: Zephyr's stadium lights spotlight competitive six-man football matchup

With help from coaches of both teams, the Trinity School of Texas Titans come to grips with their loss against the Fredericksburg Heritage Christian Eagles.

As sunset approached, the sky streaked with pastels of orange and blue, and a full moon beginning to rise, the six-man football state championship got underway at Bulldog Field in Zephyr. That’s in Brown County, on the edge of West Texas, in goat country. Seemingly out of nowhere, the stadium lights appeared after our 306-mile drive. We pulled into a gravel parking lot, dust filling the air. Zephyr means “gentle, mild breeze.” Wind was ruffling the American flag near the concession stand.

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NPR Story
7:45 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Gary Borders: My days as a real estate inspector were luckily short-lived

I often get emails from the Texas Real Estate Inspectors Association offering various continuing education courses at convenient locations. They serve as a reminder of my ill-fated attempt to change careers in late middle age, when it looked like this newspaper gig wasn’t panning out anymore.

Two-and-a-half years ago, I was unemployed and loath to move from Longview, since my wife had a good job as a professor and our daughter was happy in school. We bought a lovely house, and I set about figuring out how to make a living.

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NPR Story
7:46 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Gary Borders: 'Tis the season for glorious walks in the Piney Woods (if someone else rakes them)

Sam the Dog and I walked in the early morning darkness the other day after a blue Norther blew through. I was bundled up against the wind, Sam tugging against the leash, enjoying the drop in temperatures. Leaves skittered across the pavement, which made a naturally skittish dog occasionally flinch. Even after more than two years of affection and living the good life, Sam still bears psychic scars. He was clearly mistreated before my wife found him lying up the hill in the street two years ago, with matted smelly fur and a look of resignation in his eyes. He had given up.

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NPR Story
7:45 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Gary Borders: On what not to say to the families of murder victims

Clad in overalls, Harris K. Teel was affectionately called Papa Teel by his family.

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 10:11 am

A year has passed since our family became engulfed in a horrific tragedy. My father-in-law, Harris Teel, was stabbed in the heart two days before Thanksgiving while sitting in a waiting room at the Good Shepherd day surgery center in Longview. Nurse Gail Sandidge died on the scene, and three others were wounded. Mr. Teel — who was 82 and in good health at the time — died nine days later.

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NPR Story
7:45 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Gary Borders: Proud to wave my 'word nerd' flag

I am a word nerd. Etymology fascinates me. I try not to use 50-cent words when a dime’s worth will do, but sometimes I can’t resist tossing in a word that might not be used in everyday conversation. I have learned the hard way to double-check anytime I venture into territory commonly occupied by the likes of George Will.

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